Europe Looks to Indonesia as Model of Peaceful Islam

Source: Jakarta Globe

Jakarta. Indonesia’s long tradition of peaceful coexistence among diverse religious and ethnic groups is starting to serve as a model for other countries struggling with the challenges of multiculturalism.

Nearly 85 percent of Indonesia’s population of 250 million people are Muslims, but the country is notably tolerant of other religions compared to others with similar demographics.

And despite occasional conflicts, exacerbated by religious hardliners, Indonesia still promotes a peaceful understanding of Islam.

Yenny Wahid, chairwoman of the Wahid Institute, cited the growing trend of religious extremism around the globe, and explained that Indonesia has so far been largely unaffected by it.

Based on recent information Yenny gleaned during an interreligious dialogue in Denmark – facilitated by the country’s embassy in Indonesia – the daughter of former Indonesian President Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid said the number of Europeans traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) far exceeds the number of Indonesians who have done the same.

According to National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius, at least 500 Indonesians have joined IS. However, that number differs slightly from that given by the Soufan Group, a United States-based private intelligence analysis firm, which claimed in 2015 that more than 700 Indonesians had already joined the radical group.

However, that number is still small when compared with a recent European Union estimate that between 5,000 and 6,000 EU citizens have traveled to Syria to join IS since 2014. Of those, 1,450 are French citizens.

Danish Ambassador Casper Clynge confirmed the EU estimate, saying at least 150 people from Denmark have joined IS since the group emerged in 2014.

“In proportion to our total population, we are the second-largest contributor [in Europe] of foreign fighters to IS, so it goes without saying that it is a major problem for Denmark and a major concern from a threat point of view,” Clynge told the Jakarta Globe on April 6.

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Categories: Asia, Indonesia

1 reply

  1. Good to read such analysis. However one should vouch the fact political Islam can not ensure peace in the world. Rather it is the implementation of truly interpreted Islamic teachings which can guarantee the global peace.The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said that he had been sent by God Almighty in this era, in servitude to the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad sa, in order to spread the two paramount objectives of Islamic teachings. The first is to bring mankind
    closer to God Almighty and secondly to draw the attention of humanity towards fulfilling the rights of one another. In fact these two objectives are the bedrock for the establishment of genuine and long-lasting peace in the world. Unfortunately Muslim Emma as well West including whole Europe are unable to perceive this fact. Indonesia is just one country but see Ahmadiyya Community with tens of millions of followers spread in 207 countries. Is there any example in last 127 years wherein an Ahmadiyya Muslim ever indulged in extremism or terror activities? Surely not. Ahmadiyya Islamic Philosophy needs no countries to govern. It reforms the individuals. So road map is there but no one wants to follow it.

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